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The Trap Set with Joe Wong

Every Wednesday, Joe Wong talks to a different drummer about life as a drummer.
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The Trap Set with Joe Wong
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Now displaying: Page 2
Apr 16, 2020

Andrew Becker's dexterous, explosive drumming first gained recognition when he played in Dischord band Medications. Since then, Andrew has created four solo albums under the Human Potential Moniker, including this year's I'm Glad You're Alive. He's also an award-winning filmmaker, and proprietor of the label What Delicate. Joe and Andy have crossed paths in some interesting ways in the past twenty years; hear them catch up!

Apr 15, 2020

From an early age, drummer Areif Sless-Kitain exhibited a stunning level of musical maturity and a distinctive creative voice. Joe witnessed this firsthand when he saw Areif perform with Regulator Watts in Milwaukee in 1996. Areif and Joe crossed paths a few years later, when Joe succeeded Areif in the DC band that later became Medications. The two old friends re-connect, and Areif discusses his path from DC to Philly to Chicago; his work as a music writer; and his creative approach in Brokeback and The Eternals.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're releasing daily episodes.

 

Apr 13, 2020

Thor Harris is a percussionist known for his work with Swans, Bill Callahan, Rob Halverson, Devendra Banhart, and his own ensemble--Thor & Friends. Thor is also a sculptor, instrument builder, carpenter, and former TX gubernatorial candidate. Thor tells Joe about: being raised by an engineer and schoolteacher near Galveston, TX; studying drums in at Musicians Institute in Hollywood; learning to manage depression and thriving creatively; his love of nature; his infamous video "How to Punch a Nazi"; and the impetus to start his own band.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 11, 2020

Makaya McCraven is a drummer, composer, and producer whose innovative work draws a creative through-line between generations of seemingly disparate avant-garde movements. He tells Joe about: being raised by musician parents; why he initially resisted pursuing music as a profession; the difference between the "oral musical tradition" in which he was raised and the academic approach he was presented with in college; the decision to start creating work as a bandleader; parenting; and learning when to say yes to collaborative offers.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 11, 2020

Sean Solomon tells Joe about: taking lessons with the late Richie Hass of Saccharine Trust; growing up with a musical father and uncle; his early affinity for drugs; turning his life around in the psych ward; the meditative benefits of guitar playing; the band dynamic of Moaning; and his career as an animator.

Also, Rob Ellis returns to discuss his new album, The Nostalgia Machine, out today.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 10, 2020

Today, an experimental three-part episode! First, Britt Walford returns to answer listener questions; then, we turn over the host seat to Britt as he interviews his friend--today's guest--Emil Amos. Finally, Joe picks up where Britt leaves off for a life-spanning conversation with Emil. Emil is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter perhaps best known for his work as Holy Sons. For over twenty years, he has also been the drummer for Grails. After many years in Portland, Emil has returned to his native NC, from which he spoke to Britt and Joe.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 9, 2020

Meg Baird is drummer, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Meg her musical journey playing with her sister Laura in what would become known as The Baird Sisters. She moved to Philadelphia in 1995 and played in bands such as Espers, Heron Oblivian, and Watery Love. Beginning in 2007, Meg has released a stunning series of solo albums that showcase her uniquely compelling and haunting song craft. In 2018, Meg collaborated with harpist and Trap Set alumnus Mary Lattimore on the critically acclaimed duo album, Ghost Forests. She spoke to Joe from her home in San Francisco.

Apr 8, 2020

If you had to choose the catalog of just one Trap Set alumnus to listen to during quarantine, you could do no better than today's guest, the incomparable Dave Mattacks! Dave made his recording debut in 1969 on Fairport Convention's seminal album Liege & Lief. From this stunning statement onward, Dave's unique brand of rhythmic adventure has accompanied a who's who of genius songwriters: Nick Drake, Brian Eno, Paul McCartney, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jimmy Page, Elton John, George Harrison, XTC, Loudon Wainwright III, to name a few. Stroll through an abandoned glade and bask in Dave's incredible wisdom.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording by phone and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 7, 2020

Billy Conway joins Joe from his home in Montana to discuss: growing up in small-town Minnesota; attending Yale on a hockey scholarship; teaching in the inner city; how deliberate limitations informed his approach to playing with Morphine; how making a solo record shaped his approach to producing other artists; and how fighting advanced cancer has put his life into perspective.

Apr 6, 2020

Guitarist and vocalist Kid Congo Powers has been a key member of several paradigm-shifting bands such as The Gun Club, The Cramps, and The Bad Seeds. Over the past fifteen years, he's also led his own excellent band, Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds. Kid tells Joe about: growing up in a Chicano family in Los Angeles; how he became obsessive about music before ever playing an instrument, ultimately becoming president of The Ramones Fan Club; learning to play guitar in The Gun Club; his parents' experience at a Cramps show; "growing up" in Berlin; sobriety; how the current pandemic evokes AIDS-era PTSD; and the process of writing his memoirs.

Apr 4, 2020

Brian Chippendale is perhaps best known as the drummer and vocalist for the Providence duo, Lightning Bolt. A band perfectly suited to Chippendale's singular gift for conjuring colorful and frenetic noisescapes. He is also a prolific visual artist and graphic novelist. Brian tells Joe about: his childhood in New York state and Pennsylvania; his long-lasting aversion to becoming a grown up; attending art school at RISD; the genesis and evolving dynamic of Lightning Bolt; Fort Thunder--the legendary 6000 sq. ft. art loft in which he lived in the 90s; and how parenthood has changed his life, especially in the times of sheltering in place.


During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 4, 2020

John Congleton and Joe first met 22 years ago in Denton, TX. John's band, the pAper chAse shared a bill with Joe's band at the time. In the intervening years, John has distinguished himself as one of the most innovative and in-demand producers of his generation, working with scores of artists such as: Sharon Van Etten, Blondie, St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, and Wye Oak. John and Joe discuss: depression, empathy, the power of saying no, learning to trust your instincts, existential dread, and more!

Apr 3, 2020

As U.S. Girls, Meg Remy has achieved an impressive songwriting balance between the familiar and the wholly unexpected. She joins Joe to discuss: why she is somewhat relieved that the global pandemic caused touring postponement; singing through an amp in her childhood garage; her first band; attending Catholic school; and the interesting predicament presented by humanity's awareness of mortality.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes every day.

Apr 2, 2020

Today's guest is Britt Walford, perhaps best known as the drummer for Slint, a band he co-founded in Louisville in 1986. During its brief lifespan, Slint operated in relative obscurity; but the band's music has proven to be a massive influence on subsequent generations--and previous generations alike. Even established legends such as Robert Plant have professed their affinity for the band. Britt's incredibly unique, angular style won him many fans among the musical cognoscenti, and--aside from his work from Slint, he has worked with artists such as The Breeders (on their first album, Pod), The For Carnation, and Will Oldham. Britt joined Joe from his home in Louisville.

 

During the age of social distancing, we're recording by phone and releasing new episodes every day.

 

 

Apr 1, 2020

Joe is joined by Sylvan Esso to discuss: Elmer's Glue mohawks, Corona anxiety, songwriting, existential dread, and slap bass!

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing new episodes of The Trap Set every day.

Mar 31, 2020

Joe and Torche's Rick Smith first met when their respective bands shared a bill in Dallas, TX, in 2008. The two reconnected last year when Rick was in Los Angeles, touring behind Torche's excellent new album, Admission.

During the age of social distancing, we're releasing new episodes every day.

 

Mar 29, 2020

Ben Gibbard is best known as the vocalist and guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie, and as co-founder of The Postal Service. Ben and Joe discuss: songwriting; the challenge of creative evolution; existential dread; and life in quarantine.

Mar 29, 2020

Armed with a background in orchestral percussion, hand drumming, and jazz studies, Andrya Ambro possesses a uniquely compositional drum set style and is a proud member of the Singing Drummer Club. A resident of New York City, Andrea tells Joe about how she is handling the current pandemic; growing up in Delaware; the influence her older brother had in shaping her musical awareness; getting kicked out of jazz school; finding her voice via hand drumming; and the internal debate around whether her dedication to music would preclude her from becoming the kind of parent she'd want to be.

Mar 28, 2020

Billy Martin joins Joe to discuss: how his parents met at Radio City Music Hall (she--a Rockette, he--a musician); his childhood affinity for Jacques Cousteau; how going to the movies informed his inner world; some of his key mentors; the difference between dead music and live music; and why he considers himself an experimental artist.

Mar 27, 2020

Matt Sharp and Joe gulped down thick, black coffee and hung out for well over two hours. We discussed: Matt's itinerant childhood as the son of a government contractor; working with brilliant producers such as Ric Ocasek; how his first band--Weezer--willed themselves to success; working with Nick Zinner and Ronnie Vanucci on the new Rentals album, Q36; and collaborating with multimedia artists via the HITRECORD platform.

Mar 26, 2020

The legendary Billy Gibbons joins Joe to discuss: his love of Fugazi; studying percussion with Tito Puente; attending art school in Hollywood; Roky Erickson; his uncle, Cedric Gibbons, the most awarded art director in history; and why--after over 50 years as a band--it's still a joy to play with ZZ Top.

Mar 25, 2020

Mike Bordin delivers trance inducing rhythmic patterns with earth-shattering power. This inimitable style places him in the pantheon of all-time great rock drummers. Mike and Joe discuss: Mike's journalist grandfather who worked as editor of The Milwaukee Sentinel; how Mike and his childhood friend, legendary bassist Cliff Burton, began playing their respective instruments together; how music saved Mike's life; how he developed his explosive drum technique; the steady trajectory of Faith No More; hanging out around Tony Williams; playing with Ozzy; and Mike's preference for living in the present.

Mar 24, 2020

Chad Clark's parents were attorneys positioned at the vanguard of the civil rights movement, representing the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Baldwin. Ergo, Chad feels that--however lofty his ambitions--he'll never impact the world to the same degree as his family. That said, his music is enormously impactful on the folks lucky enough to have heard it. He and Joe discuss: his first memory of staring at the sea; the nature of success; the responsibilities of an artist, beyond making the art; Chad's roots in the DC punk scene; and why he is proud to remain in his home town.

Mar 23, 2020

Before attaining massive success with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea was a wild child, roaming the streets of Hollywood. He and Joe discuss: the unfamiliar vulnerability he faced when writing his excellent memoir Acid for the Children; the cathartic experience of translating traumatic memories to text; the spiritual connection between jazz and punk rock; the seeming decline of active listening; and the kind of connection he seeks with drummers.

Mar 22, 2020

Cedric Bixler-Zavala is best known as the explosive vocalist for bands like The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, but he is also an accomplished drummer. He and Joe discuss: a punk rock video arcade in El Paso, TX; drumming in punk band Foss with Beto O'Rourke; the unique story behind his surname; selling bootlegged cigarettes on tour to make ends meet, just before experiencing explosive success; 90s punk dogma; and the lifelong creative dynamic between himself and his creative brother, Omar Rodríguez-López.

As a bonus, Craig Wedren, who happens to be a creative influence on both Joe and Cedric, drops by to talk about his meditative Sabbath Sessions.

Because we're in lockdown due to the Corona virus outbreak. We're recording by phone and bringing you new episodes of The Trap Set every day for the foreseeable future.

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